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Network World - Jay Skibinski, global CIO for Lend Lease, a $7 billion multinational construction management conglomerate, lives by this basic rule: cheaper, better, faster.
This guideline moved Lend Lease to complete an ambitious overhaul of the company's global IT infrastructure and security management systems this fall. The project encompassed more than 20 infrastructure and security initiatives all completed for $1.8 million and within 12 months, from RFPs to full production. For other companies, each initiative would have been more daunting than the next: asset management, change, configuration, directory, identity, patch, password, service, threat, vulnerability.
With a modest core contingent of 24 IT staffers assigned to four sub-teams, the backing of regional IT field support, plus the occasional help of six vendor engineers, Lend Lease succeeded. And in so doing, Lend Lease earns distinction as our 2004 User Excellence Award winner for its Project HighRISE, in which "RISE" stands for the elements used to converge security, services and systems management: Remedy network service management, Identity management, Systems and security management, and Endpoint management.
Tales of exemplar project management abound throughout Project HighRISE. In a four-month period this year, for example, three project members implemented password management (synchronization and self-service password resets, customized with user-friendly features) across more than 50 enterprise applications running on 500 target systems, says John Miles, Project HighRISE director, senior vice president and global head of client systems and services at Lend Lease. The company runs its global IT operations from a consolidated data center in Atlanta. Only one of those three members worked on the password management project full-time. Another worked on the project half-time, with the project manager spending only one-quarter of his time on the password management task, Miles adds. If that's not remarkable enough, none had any experience with identity management.
Given the same four-month window, most companies of Lend Lease's size - nearly 10,000 employees - would limit a password management implementation to perhaps e-mail and two other systems, Miles says. "And some companies, given a two- to three-year period, have only done password management for two or three of their major systems," he adds.
Skibinski explains the need for such speedy deployments with another of his mantras. Fix and align. Talk of aligning IT with the business is all the rage among CIOs these days, but first comes fixing IT for the business, he says.
Before Project HighRISE, IT was in need of some fixing, Skibinski admits. As a financial services and construction management firm, Lend Lease manages more than 400 large-scale project sites (for airports, hospitals, office towers, shopping centers and the like) each year in 40 countries within the Americas; Asia Pacific and Europe; and Middle East and Africa regions. On an annual basis, the company starts and completes about 120 projects, each of which might require anywhere from 200 to 2,000 contract workers. Someone, it seemed, was always either attaching or detaching from the global network - often without any concern for security or without a corporate-sanctioned desktop software suite.